Living tradition

Local history museum Mönchgut in Göhren

Published: May 13, 2024

Painters from the Mönchsgut region are also represented in the "St. Petersburg Hanging" in the Göhren Museum of Local History, © TMV/Gross

Published: May 13, 2024

Just in time for its 60th anniversary, the local history museum in Göhren was reopened after extensive modernization. The museum's message is: We bring together the past and future of our homeland

„If you are lucky enough to live on Münchgut, you have to be committed to it.“ It was Ruth Bahls who is credited with this quote. The captain's daughter, teacher and honorary citizen of Münchgut lived by it all her life. In 1963, she founded the Mönchgut local history museum in Göhren. She, who, unmarried, always insisted on the form of address „Fräulein Bahls“, brought together much of what can today be described as the foundation of the museum in the former farmer, fisherman and pilot house built in 1850 on Göhrener Strandstraße.

This is what it looked like, the good old parlor in the Mönchgut, © TMV/Gross

Göhren: A place with history

This is just one of the many topics covered in the Mönchgut local history museum: How Göhren became a popular Baltic seaside resort is documented here, as are details about the geology and geography of the region. Homage is paid to the town's most important personalities and the lives of five Mönchgut families are portrayed in exemplary fashion. With the „Döns“, a typical Mönchgut farm and fishing parlor is lovingly staged.

„Making past worlds visible, that is our goal“, says Jörn Kleinhardt, who has been the managing director of the Mönchgut-Granitz museum society since 2021, „and tries to build a bridge to the present as much as possible.

One of the innovations in the invitingly light, not at all stuffy museum of local history in Göhren is the elaborate interactive timeline, which traces the eventful history of Mönchgut.

From the beginnings of the peninsula „Mönchgut“ in 1252 üthrough the Swedish period to the Second World War, from the GDR era to the present day, visitors can access all kinds of interesting information here. The graphically well-designed timeline was created in collaboration with the well-known historian Dr. Wolf Karge. It also spatially connects the old part of the museum with its modern extension, which was completed in 2017.

Tradition and history in a modern guise

The thatched house has been a listed building for a long time. However, Ellen Melzer, who has been working passionately for the four Mönchgut museums since 2005, says that Ms Bahls would not recognize it from the inside. In addition to the local history museum, these include the Rookhus in Göhren, the museum ship Luise and the Mönchgut Museumshof. Ms. Bahls has simply collected and inventoried everything she could get from the old-established Mönchgut residents," she explains, "95 percent of what we have accumulated over the years can no longer be shown here.

Probably also because the aim and aspirations of the museum have changed over time. The local history museum in Göhren aims to show tradition and history, but in a modern guise. The light, architecturally appealing extension to the half-timbered house built in 1850 was already a highlight. Since the modernization last year, the upper floor of the museum has now been included in the exhibition for the first time. In his pictures from the 1960s, the Stralsund-born photographer Volkmar Herre showed the originality and idyll of Mönchgut. Particularly impressive are the motifs of the local fishermen, who will not be forgotten in this way.

Chic from the outside too: Mönchgut local history museum, © TMV/Gross
Traditional Mönchgut costumes can sometimes still be seen on festive days on Rügen - and of course in the museum's permanent exhibition, © TMV/Gross

The last fishermen of Mönchgut

Nowadays, there are only a few of them who fish professionally for salmon. Like Thomas and Florian Koldevitz, who set out from the port of Gager at 3:30 in the morning to earn a living. A hard life. One day, when they are no longer around, the local museum will be the last place they will be remembered.

A costume for all occasions

One of the highlights of the local history museum are the various traditional costumes that used to be the everyday wardrobe of the people of M¨nchgut. The mostly plain black garments sometimes weighed up to 7.5 kilograms. Ellen Melzer explains: „This also included the shirtshirt trousers, which were calf-length with wide legs and a knotted linen waistband.“ Why were the garments so heavy? „People probably lived according to the motto: ‚What is good for the cold is also good for the warmth.“  

The traditional costumes were painstakingly made by hand after the fabrics were produced on massive looms. One of them is still in the museum today. Spinning and weaving have a long tradition on Mönchgut, and sheep have been bred here for centuries. The Pomeranian sheep in particular characterize the image of the gentle green hills of the region. And even today, the sheep in the Südost-Rügen biosphere reserve are both landscape conservationists and wool producers. Shepherds Frank and Christian Westphal are the second generation to breed the animals and process the organic wool into modern and sustainable wool clothing in cooperation with the regional company „Nordwolle Rügen“.

Even the youngest Mönchgut children are familiarized with the traditional costumes of their ancestors in the children's costume group., © TMV/Gross

Concept good. All good.

A brand new: 5,000-year-old artifacts from the duke's tomb

For the first time, some 5,000-year-old artifacts from the famous „Duke's Tomb“ are now on display in Göhren. Until now, only a few replicas of the finds made by teacher and local poet Fritz Worm in 1920 between Göhren and Alt Reddevitz in a Neolithic grave were on display. The originals have now been made available to the museum of local history by the University of Greifswald.

A visit to the Rookhus

If you want to experience an entire 17th century Mönchgut fisherman's farmhouse, you can also do so in the architecturally unique Rauchhaus – plattdeutsch „Rookhus“ –. It is just a five-minute walk from the Göhrener Heimatmuseum –! 

„My favorite topic  in the museum, however“, reveals Ellen Melzer, „is, besides the “Rookhus”, the so-called Petersburg Hängung in one of our rooms. These are wonderful paintings by artists who all have a connection to Mönchgut, such as Tom Beyer, Elisabeth Büchsel or Hans Porwoll. I really love this room.“

Concept good. All good.

And what about the visitors – are they also taking to the newly designed museum in Göhren? Managing Director Jörn Kleinhardt can confirm that: „Our  visitor numbers are very pleasing,  the concept seems to be working. Or as Ellen Melzer puts it: ‚Those who visit us know afterwards: this is M nchgut. This is the history of our homeland.‘“

The Rookhus (smoke house), an old fisherman's farmhouse from the 17th century, just a few meters from the local museum. Why "smoke house"? Quite simply: the extractor hood had not yet been invented ..., © TMV/Gross
Painters from the Mönchsgut region are also represented in the "St. Petersburg Hanging" in the Göhren Museum of Local History, © TMV/Gross
The new concept of the Göhren local history museum seems to be working. Managing Director Jörn Kleinhardt is certainly satisfied., © TMV/Gross

Excursion destinations

Göhren and surroundings

To the map

3 Ergebnisse

The interior of the Rookhus on Mönchgut in Göhren shows its exhibition., © TMV/Gross

Rookhus

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • Thiessower Straße, 18586 Ostseebad Göhren

The smoke house in Göhren was built around 1720 and is thus one of the oldest buildings on the island. From the vernacular the Rookhus got the name "sugar loaf" because of its low cane roof.

Read more: "Rookhus"
© Gebert TZR

Port Baabe

  • 18586 Baabe

Idyllically located small natural harbor away from the center of Baab with probably the smallest ferry in the world.

Read more: "Port Baabe"
© TMV/Gross

Museum of local history Göhren

  • Strandstraße, 18586 Ostseebad Göhren

The exhibitions in the Mönchgut Museum of Local History deal with life on Mönchgut from its historical tangible beginnings to the recent past.

Read more: "Museum of local history Göhren"
The interior of the Rookhus on Mönchgut in Göhren shows its exhibition., © TMV/Gross

Rookhus

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • Thiessower Straße, 18586 Ostseebad Göhren

The smoke house in Göhren was built around 1720 and is thus one of the oldest buildings on the island. From the vernacular the Rookhus got the name "sugar loaf" because of its low cane roof.

Read more: "Rookhus"
© Gebert TZR

Port Baabe

  • 18586 Baabe

Idyllically located small natural harbor away from the center of Baab with probably the smallest ferry in the world.

Read more: "Port Baabe"
© TMV/Gross

Museum of local history Göhren

  • Strandstraße, 18586 Ostseebad Göhren

The exhibitions in the Mönchgut Museum of Local History deal with life on Mönchgut from its historical tangible beginnings to the recent past.

Read more: "Museum of local history Göhren"
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